India warns of hotter conditions ahead

MONEY SHARMA/ AFP

India has issued its highest weather alerts and warned of hotter conditions ahead as deadly heat scorches parts of the nation’s north.

The heatstroke risk is very high in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and people should avoid spending time outside, according to a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department that carried the so-called red alerts. Extreme care is needed for infants and the elderly, the agency said.

India’s highest recorded temperature on Monday was 47.4C (117F) at Najafgarh in Delhi, according to the bureau. The weather has been 5C hotter than normal in several parts of the nation and the heat is expected to continue in the northwest and central region over the next four days, it said.

The world posted its 11th consecutive month of record-breaking heat in April as climate change leads to more extreme weather across the globe. Schools in Delhi were ordered to shut early for summer vacation by the local government from Tuesday, while the weather bureau also predicted heavy rainfall in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, advising fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal.

Extreme heat can put lives at risk, strain power grids and wilt crops from wheat to corn. Temperatures climbed to record highs in some areas of Thailand and the Philippines last month, while heat waves hit parts of major coffee grower Vietnam, sending prices of the robusta variety to a 45-year high.

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